Taken By the Sidhe
"Gwynydd! What are you doing out here?"
It was morning. For a moment, Gwynydd wondered why she was outside, then she saw Anoron beside her and remembered last night. She blushed.
Morgan was standing over her.
Anoron interrupted with the last words Gwynydd would have expected to hear. "Aurea--you're alive!"
"And you have ravaged my daughter. Did you cast a glamour over her, brother?"
"Brother?" Gwynydd was shocked. Anoron couldn't really be her uncle! And her mother was a Sidhe? None of this made any sense!
"Aurea, love, I learned my lesson years ago. After what it did to you, I was terrified to enchant any woman. She came to me willingly, and I had no idea she had any Sidhe blood, much less your own."
Morgan--no, Aurea--sighed. "I never told her. She knows nothing of our people or our laws. She knows only the laws of humans, and I had thought her safer here, away from you. I rebuilt my life with Garth, and I refused to allow my daughter into a world where women's minds can be so warped by a man--"
"So instead, you would allow her to be slave to a human husband? The trauma must have been greater than I thought--and bear in mind, sister, that when you left us and never returned, we all thought you had died. Some of us assumed you died by your own hand, others, that you met your fate at the hands of humans or wild beasts. But we never thought you would be discovered alive and married to a human!"
"Wait!" cried Gwynydd. "What are you talking about? What trauma? And is Anoron really my uncle?"
The story, as it finally came out, was this.
Aurea and Anoron were twins, fathered by a minor lord. Sidhe children were rare, and their birth was celebrated. Because Sidhe magic could prevent or heal all but the worst deformities, incest was not forbidden among their kind, though it was very uncommon. Anoron loved his sister from an early age, and as they grew, that love developed into a powerful lust.
But Aurea did not return his affections, and, mad with lust, Anoron had cast a spell to render her compliant to his wishes. However, as he bent over her, Aurea broke through his enchantments and, traumatized by the attempted rape, fled to the human world. There, she assumed the name Morgan, and used her magic to disguise herself as a human.
Morgan claimed that her village had been destroyed by raiders, and her clothing was in such a state that she was readily believed. She was taken in by the villagers, and when she fell in love with a young farmer named Garth, they were more than happy to see the two married. By this time, Morgan had long abandoned her old life, and turned her back on her Sidhe heritage. She made certain that neither Garth nor their daughter knew the truth, believing that by hiding her past, she could protect her family.
Meanwhile, Aurea's family in the Sidhe realms did not know where to search. Because there were many pathways between the human and Sidhe worlds, it was impossible to determine where Aurea had entered the human world, or even that she had done so at all. After several fruitless searches, and several years with no word from Aurea, the Sidhe had assumed the worst.
Anoron mourned his twin more deeply than most, for he felt that he was responsible for the death of the beautiful girl he loved. He had resolved to enter the human world himself, to determine if his sister's body could be recovered and given a proper burial. If nothing else, he owed her that much. He searched every portal on his father's lands, and was near to giving up hope when he had met Gwynydd.
"And now," said Aurea, "there is the problem of what to do. There are few men in the village who would have Gwynydd as a wife now that she is not a virgin, and the life of an unmarried woman here is...harsh."
"Do not forget, sister, that Gwynydd is half-Sidhe. There will always be a place for her in my home, if she is willing. We do not treat our women as callously as humans do, my own foolish transgression excepted. She would be free to stay with anyone she chooses in the Sidhe realms, and if she has inherited the family magic, she will be taught to use it."
"If she goes, she may never be able to return. You're asking me to give up my daughter!"
"Aurea, I promise you that if she goes with me, I will not allow her to come to harm. I have learned from my past mistakes, and I am not the selfish child who drove you away.
"And what of you? Surely Garth will begin to notice that you do not age as he does. You do not have many years left before you are cast out of your village as a sorceress or demon."
"I cannot leave yet. I have another child, a son, and he is still too young--"
"Aurea, it is now or never. What will the other villagers do to a woman whose daughter has suddenly run away with the Sidhe?"
"You act as if I had already agreed to this. I can't just let Gwynydd--"
"Please, Mother! I did what I did out of love for Anoron. If--if it is acceptable among the Sidhe--for me to be with him, then that is what I want." Gwynydd had dreamed of Anoron for so long...It was a bit unsettling to discover that he was her kin, but she had already chosen him, and she couldn't turn back now. She had given him her heart, her body...and he had been so good to her...
Aurea sighed, realizing she had lost the battle. "Very well. Come back to the house and pack your things first, at least. I don't know what I'm going to tell your father..."